Friday, March 04, 2011

Southern Cornbread

Aaron made jambalaya for dinner the other night for our friends Chris and Sarah and I wanted to add something to it. I recently got a copy of Baking Illustrated from Title Wave, where I volunteer on Fridays. It has several variations of cornbread, but when I saw Southern style, I knew that’s what I had to do for jambalaya. It just makes sense.

What I love about this cookbook already is all of the helpful hints and tips for every recipe. For example, I didn’t have the right type of pan to cook the cornbread in, so it told me to double the recipe and put it in bread pan. And I did and it was tasty. Below is the doubled recipe.

Southern Cornbread from Baking Illustrated:

Makes one 9” loaf

8 tsp. bacon droppings or 2 tsp. vegetable oil plus 2 Tb. melted butter (I went with the latter option)
2 c. yellow cornmeal, preferably stone-ground
4 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
2/3 c. rapidly boiling water
1½ c. buttermilk
2 large egg, beaten lightly

Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle portion and heat the oven to 450 degrees.

Measure 2/3 cup cornmeal into a medium bowl. Whisk the remaining cornmeal, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together in a small bowl; set aside.
Pour the boiling water all at once into the 2/3 cup cornmeal; stir to make a stiff mush. Whisk in the buttermilk gradually, breaking up lumps until smooth, then whisk in the egg. When the oven is preheated, stir the dry ingredients into the mush mixture until just moistened. Pour the oil and butter mixture into the batter and stir to incorporate, then pour the batter into the pan.
Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and instantly turn the cornbread onto a wire rack; cool for 5 minutes, then serve immediately.

This is the first time I’ve made a different style cornbread and I have to say I’m impressed. It’s dense and moist and worked really well with the jambalaya. This week I’ve been mixing it in with my soup, which I’m eating a lot of. It works because this bread rocks.

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